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THE MOJ: Elks finally win one, and other late summer football ponderings

Pondering that enduring Canadian question of Regina or Winnipeg?
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Tre Ford threw for two touchdown passes in leading Edmonton to a 24-10 win over the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton on Thursday. CFL photo

FINALLY:

The Edmonton Elks finally won a football game Thursday night as they went into Hamilton and defeated the Tiger-Cats 24-10 to snap a 13-game winless streak.

The Elks were buoyed by the performance of Canadian quarterback Tre Ford as the University of Waterloo product threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns. The Elks had to overcome a 90-minute delay to the start of the second half to win their first game since Sept. 16, when they beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 26-24 in Regina.

Now if the Elks can only win a game at home, where they haven’t won since 2019.

The real stars of the game were the TSN panel, who for the third time this year had to ‘rag the puck’ as we say in the broadcasting world due to a weather delay. It’s not an easy situation for broadcasters as you are literally doing everything on the fly but props to the TSN crew for pulling it off.

THAT FANTASY FOOTBALL:

With the NFL season kicking off in a few weeks, fantasy football enthusiasts have started to scour over rosters, looking for that ‘sleeper’ that will propel them to victory.

As someone who loves the game of football, I have zero interest in fantasy football. Don’t get me wrong. I love fantasy sports – our fantasy baseball league started in 1990 and is still going strong – but comparing fantasy football to fantasy baseball is like comparing checkers to chess. So much of the football game is predicated on luck. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been lights out all year because if two or three of your players have bad matchups in your playoff game, your season is sunk.

I’m still playing fantasy football however except it’s the Fantasy Premier League. Instead of debating whether or not to pick Austin Ekeler over Christian McCaffrey, it’s do I pick Kevin De Bruyne over Mohamed Salah? The FPL is actually a good setup that is based on selecting players with a salary cap in place and it also boasts a good scoring system.

And the best part about it? It’s not head-to-head.

WHO’S STARTING AGAIN?

The CFL has seen a revolving door at quarterback this year with injuries and ineffectiveness resulting in 20 different starters as we head into this weekend.

The latest development has Dru Brown starting in place of the injured Zach Collaros when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit the Calgary Stampeders this Friday. That leaves only Jake Maier of the Stamps as the only pivot to start each of his team’s games this season.

It’s an alarming trend when you consider how important quarterbacks are to the entertainment value of a game. Compounding the problem is the fact that the depth at the position has been depleted with the emergence of the USFL and XFL.

There have been plenty of discussions this season on how the CFL can do a better job of developing quarterbacks, and given the turnover we’ve seen this year, those discussions and subsequent decisions will remain paramount to the future success of the league.

IT’S A SMALL WORLD:

Despite the fact that the football world is a rather large one, it’s actually quite small.You’d be hard-pressed to mention a name with at least someone on a team having a connection with the individual in question.

Such was t he case last week after hearing of the tragic passing of former Seahawks running back Alex Collins. The 28-year-old Collins died in a motorcycle accident last Sunday in a Miami suburb. Collins played at the University of Arkansas and was a teammate on the Razorbacks with current B.C. Lions wide receiver Keon Hatcher.

Hatcher told me that he had kept in touch with Collins over the years and actually tried to lure him to the Lions this past off-season but Collins elected to play in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats.

WINNIPEG VERSUS REGINA:

Anyone who follows the CFL knows that these two prairie cities don’t like each other and I get that.

With Delta’s Bobby Dubeau having recently visited each and every stadium in the league, the debate is on in terms of who has the CFL’s nicest facility. That debate boils down to IG Field in Winnipeg versus Mosaic Stadium in Regina. Both are beautiful stadiums that have been built in the last decade and it’s a tough call between the two but I’ll take Mosaic as it has more of a big-league feel to it.

Now as for the cities, it’s not even close. Regina is one of my favorite stops on the circuit. Whether it’s the vibe in the city where everyone and anyone is into the upcoming game, the smoked old-fashioned’s at the Hotel Saskatchewan or a nice meal at Golf’s Steakhouse, I always look forward to a trip to the Queen City.

Travelling to Winnipeg, on the other hand, is the equivalent of having to go to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth removed. As I said during our broadcast, by comparison Winnipeg makes Regina look like the Turks and Caicos.

FROM RECORDS AND RESEARCH:

Did you know that the name ‘Winnipeg’ comes from the Cree words for ‘Dirty Water’?

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

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